The Wider World

Biden’s $2.3 trillion building plan

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN took the wraps off his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan on Wednesday (Flickr/Gage Skidmore).

One of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign slogans was “Build Back Better,” and as president he’s seeking to follow through on that theme. On Wednesday he took the wraps off a $2.3 trillion program to build or rebuild roads, bridges, public transit, electric vehicle charging stations and other transportation-related efforts. Additionally, his plan would also overhaul the nation’s electrical grid and water service systems.

“It’s a once in a lifetime investment in America unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and space race decades ago,” said Biden in a speech in Pittsburgh. “In fact, it’s the largest American jobs investment since World War II. It will create millions of good-paying jobs.”

The enterprise will be financed through higher tax rates on corporations, undoing the 2017 tax cut championed by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. Biden is advocating an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent.

The president noted that some large corporations – including Amazon – pay no income tax, reported the Associated Press.

News: Some J&J vaccines tossed out

Johnson & Johnson, makers of the one-dose coronavirus vaccine, suffered a setback when it was revealed that as many of 15 million doses were accidentally contaminated and can’t be used. No one was inoculated with those doses, according to The New York Times.

The problem was discovered by J&J’s in-house quality control process.

On the national coronavirus front, while new deaths have declined 26 percent over the past 14 days, new cases have risen 17 percent.

Sports: NFL season expands to 17 games

The National Football League will stretch its season to 17 games in 2021. Each team will play an 18-week schedule with one “bye” week. To accommodate the change, the league will drop one pre-season contest.

The vote among league franchise owners was almost unanimous, with the Chicago Bears casting the lone “no” vote. While some players tweeted opposition to the move, the players union is in favor on the grounds that more games will mean more money, meaning higher salaries.

Wednesday results

  • Milwaukee Bucks 112, Lakers 97
  • Kings 4, Las Vegas Golden Knights 2

Business: Georgia businesses slam voting law

Two of Georgia’s biggest employers on Wednesday announced their opposition to the recently enacted voting law that critics claimed was “voter suppression.” Delta Air Lines and Coca Cola issued statements that criticized the bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp. The new law cuts early voting, requires notarization of absentee ballots and gives legislators authority over voting officials.

Wall Street can’t agree:  Two of the three major stock indexes showed gains on Wednesday, but the largest one showed a loss. The Dow declined 85.41 points to 32,981.55. However, the S&P 500 gained 14.34 points to 3,972.89, while the Nasdaq increased 201.48 to 13,246.87.

Weather: A short taste of summer

Enjoy your warm weather for another day – Thursday – until we get back to more spring-like days for a while. For the West Orange County area, Thursday is predicted to have a daytime high of 89 (54 low overnight) with partly cloudy skies and breezes up to 11 miles per hour. But for Friday, the heat gives way to a high of 76 (32) and more sun. Daytime highs will linger in the mid-to-high 70s through the weekend. In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, daytime temps three to seven degrees cooler.



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